Last week, this song was bumped so that I could feature MAJOR.’s “Why I Love You” for #RomanticTuesday. So I promised to feature today’s song this week, and here it is.
Sometimes, it can help to have family connections. The group DeBarge had that with Motown Records. The group, formed by brothers Mark, Randy, El and sister Bunny DeBarge (younger brother James, one-time husband of Janet Jackson joined later), had two older siblings already on the label. Older brothers Bobby and Tommy DeBarge were members of the group Switch, signed to Motown with the help of Jermaine Jackson. At that time, Jermaine was Berry Gordy’s son-in-law, having married his daughter Hazel; he stayed at Motown when his brothers left the label for Epic Records in 1976.
After a first album that didn’t do all that much, the stakes were raised for their second album. By this time, El DeBarge was becoming the primary songwriter and lead singer. Though their first big hit, “I Like It,” featured his brother Randy in addition to El on the lead, there was no disputing who was singing lead on the next single. Written and sung by El, and featuring a guitar solo from José Feliciano, “All This Love” is the featured song for #Romantic Tuesday.
One of the group’s best-known, and oft-covered (but not most-sampled) songs, “All This Love” was their first top 20 pop song, and a top 5 R&B hit. After this album, the group and especially El DeBarge grew in stature. By the time the Rhythm Of The Night album was released, El was being placed out front, and the group was being billed as El Debarge with Debarge. It wasn’t long after that that El had left for a solo career.
But before all that happened, the group gave us one of the most beautiful love songs of the 80s. I hope you enjoy this week’s #RomanticTuesday entry, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.